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Outreach Initiative

Medicare Prescription Drug Program Open Enrollment

The Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA) State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) will be offering one-on-one Part D research assistance during Fall 2016, for the Medicare Part D Open Enrollment, from October 15 through December 7. Any changes in Part D coverage will become effective January 1, 2017. The schedule for Part D open enrollment events at Baltimore County senior centers is posted below.

After September 1, 2016, call the SHIP office at 410-887-2059 to schedule an appointment at a senior center convenient to you. Appointment times range from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., unless otherwise noted. SHIP will also provide enrollment assistance at the BCDA Baby Boomer Senior Expo at Timonium Fairgrounds. The SHIP staff will assist Medicare beneficiaries and their families to select the most economical prescription plan that covers their drug needs. For those unable to come to the senior centers, Part D research will be done by phone.

About Part D

  • All Medicare Beneficiaries need to evaluate whether their current coverage is “creditable,” meaning equal to or better than the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. If you delay enrolling in the Medicare Prescription Drug Program when you are first eligible and your current prescription coverage is not “creditable,” you will pay a one percent higher premium per month for every month you did not join a plan.
  • When selecting a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, it is important to make an educated decision when selecting or making changes to your current plan, or evaluating whether to keep your current plan or change to a new plan in the following calendar year.
    • Research and compare various drug plans with your medications' list to select the best coverage for you based on cost, coverage or access.
    • Call the Baltimore County SHIP Office at 410-887-2059. The SHIP staff will perform the online research that is necessary for you to select the most economical Part D plan which covers your prescription drugs.
  • The Medicare Prescription Drug Program has a monthly premium that varies with each plan, associated with its coverage.
    • Drug plans may also have deductibles.
    • Drug plans have co-payments toward the cost of prescriptions.
    • When you join the Medicare Prescription Drug Program and use the plan’s network pharmacies, you will pay less.
  • Each drug plan has a different list of drugs it will cover called a “formulary list.” You will need to check which drug plan covers all or most of your medications at the best cost. Exceptions may be granted by your drug plan.
  • There is extra help, federal and state, for those who are low-income eligible. It is important to apply in a timely manner.
    • Premiums can be reduced or eliminated
    • Other payments can be decreased.

2018 Part D Open Enrollment Plan

Be sure to bring a list of your medications exactly as written on the bottles and your Medicare card to your appointment. 

Fall Schedule and Locations

  • 9 to 12:45 p.m.
  • Dates and locations will be updated in the early fall 2017
Revised February 28, 2017